REVIEW: Pride and Joy; The Lives And Passions of Women Without Children, by Terri Casey September 4, 2008Posted by Onely in book review, Reviews.
Tags: childfree, Pride and Joy: The Lives and Passions of Women Without, Terri Casey, Women without Children
Casey, Terri. Pride And Joy: The Lives And Passions Of Women Without Children. New York: Simon and Schuester, 2007
Casey presents inspiring descriptions of twenty-five women who have chosen not to have children. She describes the women’s hobbies, jobs, families, friends, pets, goals, dreams, and accomplishments so that their lives all sound as rich as–if not, dare I say it, richer than–the lives of women who did choose to have children.
For example, there’s Jane who worked for The New Yorker for twenty-one years and now travels and volunteers extensively. There’s Nan who teaches yoga eight days a week. There’s Louise who is trained as a chef and a psychologist. They all have important people in their lives, such as friends, siblings, parents, husbands, wives/girlfriends/partners, cats, dogs, neighbors, boyfriends. They all have fulfilling passions, too, like art collecting, environmental conservation, travel writing. I enjoyed all these aspects of the book. I read it in maybe two sittings and folded down the corners of 23 pages out of 200. (I explain my corner-folding rules at the end of this post.) All in all, I highly recommend this book. You should even get it off Amazon instead of from the library, so you can fold down your own corners!
Ok, now on to what disappointed me about Pride and Joy:
Of the twenty-five subjects Casey interviewed for this book, twenty-one were in coupled, romantic relationships (kudos to Casey for including lesbians) or widowed. Only four of the subjects were flat-out single. Considering that one prime reason many women end up not having children is that they are single, I would have liked to see Casey include a higher percentage of Onelies in her book. (I acknowledge that this book is about women who *chose* not to have children, and for single women sometimes that choice is made *for* them.)
Like all of Casey’s interviewees, the single women in the book–Maggie, Maria, Georgiana, and Amy–all have very interesting lives that I wouldn’t mind stepping into for a while. Maggie sails and attends culinary school. Georgiana has travelled to Africa, Europe, South America, and the Caribbean.
Each chapter begins with a profile of the subject woman, describing her work and education history, her hobbies, her loved ones, and her dreams. Twenty-one of the profiles mention a husband or other significant romantic other. As I read, I found myself thinking, SHIT IF I DON’T WANT KIDS THEN I BETTER AT LEAST GET A HUSBAND. Perhaps the book was not so much to blame as was the secretly caffeinated tea they slipped me at the Korean restaurant that evening. However, I still would have liked to see more single women profiled in Pride and Joy. Don’t let this stop you from reading it, though.